Attic Mold Remediation
If your mold problem in the attic is minor, this article is for you. Remediating this fungus can be done by you for a fraction of the contractor’s cost. Information on major infestation of mold is listed in this article, but would be performed by professionals. Only attempt this job if it is SAFE. Most attics may not have the decking to stand or walk on. Also, during the summer months, attics are very HOT. You may need to wait until the evening starting this attic mold remediation. If you have any health issues, proceed with caution or have someone else perform this project.
First, you will need to determine if it is indeed mold that you’re seeing. Spray bleach on an area that appears to be mold. If it lightens within a couple of minutes, then you indeed have mold. If it doesn’t, then there can be dirt or paint on the surface.
Most attics are storage areas. I would assume this holds true for you too. If there are any signs of mold on the items, then it must be removed and placed outside the house for further observation. There you will determine if it can be easily cleaned or disposed of. Once you have sorted through the items, then you can cover the remaining with plastic or other waterproof covering. Of course, if there isn’t room to work in, then you can temporarily move it downstairs. If there are any openings leading to the lower level, they also need to be covered.
Fixing the source
You will need to identify the source of moisture. This could be steam coming from a bathroom vent or maybe the hot water heater. If you have windows, there could be a leak there. Don’t forget to include the insulation around these wet areas that could contain mold. Your roof could have a broken shingle or a hole of some sort with other material that is allowing water to enter. If this is the case, then identify any wet spots on the sheathing and further investigate. If it has been leaking for awhile, there could be wood rot developing. Have a roofing company evaluate the damage, so your insurance company covers the expense of your roof and this mold problem. One thing I need to mention, if you live in a cold climate and there is snow collecting on your roof, this could be condensation from steam hitting a cold surface. This may not be your roof at all and would be misdiagnosed. Mold will not appear if there isn’t a source of moisture.
Something is triggering the growth of spores within this confined area and usually moisture is the cause. Make sure your ceiling from the bathroom, Kitchen or laundry room is air sealed. Moist air will leak into the attic from these areas and cause condensation. If the source isn’t repaired, then all of your hard work will go to waste because mold will reappear. Make sure there is adequate ventilation in your attic. Your attic needs to breathe or it will make your home less energy efficient along with creating a mold petri dish.
As stated in the top paragraph, but will say it again, be SAFE while in the attic. Be aware of the nails sticking out of the sheathing. Your head will thank you. Most areas do not have floors, so I would recommend bringing a couple of plywood boards to stand on. These will need to be placed between the ceiling joists and moved while you work. Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while remediating. This includes a N95 respirator, goggles, gloves and clothing covering your skin at a minimum. All of this gear will make you hot, so this is why evening time is recommended if the outside temperature exceeds 80 degrees. Sanding and wire brushing would take care of most minor problems in attic mold. The only major problems need other methods, which is different from within the living spaces. Professionals use a few blasting methods to remove mold. This is very expensive, but the results are effective. A professional will need to a major job that exceeds 10 square feet. This will cost between $1500 to $8000 depending on the size and extent. Be sure to have 3 estimates from reputable contractors. There are unfortunately some contractors that go over and beyond what is needed. Don’t offer any information that another contractor had disclosed to compare if they return with the same conclusion. Check your homeowners insurance policy to see if they will cover the cost.
I know if you’re like me, you will only go into the attic if needed. I would check it out a couple of days a week for one month. Make sure there are no new signs of Mold. Also, with a moisture meter, check the level of humidity within several areas to make sure the repairs are adequate.
I hope you enjoyed this information and found it helpful. Feel free to comment on this article.